Engine, gun carriage, packing seal, oh my!

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Hi All,
We have been working on a few large items in the Wet Lab recently. One of the ventilation engines needed a new support, which required flipping the object 45 degrees, and custom building a frame for this purpose. Additionally, a second round of dry ice blasting was applied to the port gun carriage and a first round of dry ice cleaning was performed on a section of the propeller shaft.
We just wanted to share a few pictures from all processes, so here are views of the ventilation engine re-support:

1- Ventilation engine in its new frame

2- Ventilation engine’s frame strapped to be rotated safely
3- Ventilation engine in its new position, success!

Here are a few before and after from dry ice cleaning of the port gun carriage:

4- Port gun carriage before 2nd round of dry ice cleaning

5- Port gun carriage during 2nd round of dry ice cleaning
6- Port gun carriage after 2nd round of dry ice cleaning

And here are before and after pictures of the propeller shaft:

7- Propeller shaft before dry ice cleaning

8- Propeller shaft after dry ice cleaning

Note that I mentioned a “second round of dry ice blasting” above for the gun carriage, as we have empirically learned that a wrought iron object (like the carriage or the shaft) was thoroughly cleaned after three rounds of dry ice blasting. Between each round the artifacts are placed back in electrolytic reduction for a few months, to allow the electron transfer to loosen more of the surface concretions. In a few months the port carriage will be cleaned again with dry ice, before being place back in electrolytic reduction one last time.

Last but not least, we have been spending the past two weeks trying to take apart the section of the propeller shaft showed above. This will allow for an overall better, more thorough, conservation treatment of the stuffing box couplings. Will even welded a crazy looking contraption for this purpose, which includes two 20 ton hydraulic jacks to help push the bolts out. We had a successful day last week and were able to extract one of the bolts, but none of them budged at all in our many attempts this week!! (Angry emoji face ;). We are not giving up yet, and this small bump in the road perfectly illustrates the challenges of this particular conservation project!
Here are a few shots illustrating the attempted bolt removal process:

9- Contraption made to remove bolts from the stuffing box section of the propeller shaft

10- Packing seal section of the propeller shaft in the contraption
11- Set up to remove the bolts from the shaft
12- One bolt out, six to go!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!!!

4 thoughts on “Engine, gun carriage, packing seal, oh my!”

  1. Truly amazing! I am a big Civil War buff especially about ironclads! I envy your job! I have been following your progress for years now!

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